Question for you…Are you a Wanderer or are you an Explorer?
I asked this question to a fellow entrepreneur who was in a funk. He was going through one of those moments ALL entrepreneurs go through. That moment of self-pity. The moment when we feel that our life or our business, or both, sucks and everyone is doing great. That moment when we ask ourselves, “What the hell am I doing with my life?”
Two nights ago, when I got home from work, my youngest asked me to go on a walk after dinner. I agreed and asked her where she wanted to walk.
“I want to walk to the middle school then to the lake at the park. I want to feed the ducks and the turtles. Then I want to walk up through the botanical garden and then through my old preschool. I want to walk past the house with the cute pugs and then head home.”
She knew exactly what she wanted to do, she knew exactly what she wanted to see and she knew exactly what she wanted to explore. She had a plan with specific goals.
When we returned my wife asked her about the walk. She was excited because did what she wanted, which was spend time with me, feed the ducks and turtles, run around among the hiding places in the botanical garden and pet the pugs. The excitement in her voice was very noticeable. It was a good night for her.
As we go through life, we have a choice to live life with a purpose or just take what life gives us.
Living life with a purpose means we have a specific destination that we want to reach and we have a path we want to take there. Having a destination makes life worth living. It gives our life meaning and makes us happy to be alive. It gives us a path to explore on our way to our goal.
Wanderers, on the other hand, have no destination in mind. They just aimlessly travel from place to place. No plan. No path. No destination. No fun.
Every time I have found myself wandering instead of exploring I realize that I have fallen into that trap of self-pity, low self-esteem and general dissatisfaction with life. During these times my mind goes to those dark places where I question what I’m doing on this earth. We all have these moments. It’s just part of being human.
What is important for us, when going through these moments, is to realize that we are no longer exploring on our way to a destination, but instead, we are now wandering aimlessly. We have no goals. Nothing to shoot for. And that is why we are feeling down on ourselves.
The best and quickest way to snap out of it is to sit down and figure out the next destination. Then figure out the path to that goal. And then get exploring!
So let me ask you again, “Are you a Wanderer or are you an Explorer?”